I am well aware that QC-related graduate programs are competitive so I am preparing myself for a rejection. Not because I'm unconfident. But because everyone should have a backup plan just in case. I haven't applied yet because I'm about to take the GRE. I really do enjoy both quantum physics and coding. And I am willing to go into industry or academia. I have a physics bachelor's degree. I think it's important to be focused on a goal; I am focusing on QI. But if I really had to deviate slightly to a related field, my world would not be over. I would prefer to exhaust my options before I completely give up, though. Are there other options to pursue if I were to do more preparation and then reapply for a QI program? For example, would it be useful to pursue a master's in something else like computer science, software engineering, or electrical engineering to then reapply for a QI program? As far as I'm aware from a few boisterous physicists I've met at conferences, a master's degree in physics is "useless to the physics community" insofar as you "can't contribute much without a PhD". (Not my words. Feel free to disagree; just what I've heard.) So, if anything, I'd just flat-out pursue a physics PhD instead. Alternatively, if I don't go into QI, what are some other interesting fields that might combine ideas of physics and computer science? I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Reminder: I haven't even applied to QI programs yet. I'm just trying to be proactive.